Video and computer games are extremely popular nowadays. A lot of people play computer games in order to escape dull reality and to fight with horrible monsters or to save the world from hostile aliens. Video and computer games give one the opportunity to plunge into exciting adventures: to explore complicated mazes, to combat frightful dragons, to overcome obstacles, to operate various vehicles, to fly an aircraft or to pilot a spacecraft, to solve different puzzles, to look after a virtual pet, to build cities, to play sport games and even to control the lives of people.
Video games are constantly becoming more life-like and complex. New styles and genres appear. The development of a computer game demands the work and skills of quite a large group of people including programmers, graphic designers, sound designers, musicians, and other technicians. Modern video games contain a unique synthesis of 3D art, sound effects, real-life environment, people-like characters, architecture,
artificial intelligence, dramatic performances, music, storytelling, and interactivity (the ability to communicate directly with a computer programme which does things in reaction to your actions).
Video game developers have been accused of the depiction of graphic violence, sexual themes, advergaming (a form of advertising in games), consumption of drugs, alcohol or tobacco, bad language, propaganda, or profanity in some games. Many games encourage violent behavior, blur the difference between right and wrong and cause addiction. Some people say that video and computer games make children unsociable and passive. They are absorbed in games without speaking to each other for a long time. Children and teenagers who are fond of computer games are not interested in reading. Some researchers proclaim that playing computer games stunts brain growth. Children can play for hours without eating, sleeping or learning. They sit in front of the computer screen exercising their fingers instead of playing outside or training themselves physically. That’s why the levels of obesity among children and teenagers are rising. The vast majority of computer games are made for male game players, but nowadays more and more games are produced for girls and women. Small amount of young females play aggressive games and it has a negative influence on their psyche.
But video and computer games have advantages
as well. Most games require a great deal of patience and focus from the player so video games may even increase players’ attention capacities. They may also improve a child’s visual skills and develop coordination. Certain types of video games can improve gamers’ dexterity as well as their ability to solve problems.
Video games are meant not only for entertainment. Some video games are made for other reasons. Educational games attempt to teach players using the game as a vehicle. They help children develop maths, reading skills and spelling through play. Computer games can promote the development of strategic thinking and planning skills. It has been noticed that gamers don’t realize they are learning. So if educational games could be used at school, education would enjoy significant benefits.
All we should do is to control the playing, distribution, purchase, or sale of video and computer games. Violent games must be banned and the time of playing games should be strictly limited. Instead of killing and injuring people the aim of the game can be to save somebody or to make peace.
1. Read the following sentences and circle TRUE or FALSE:
1) Video and computer games are not so popular nowadays as they used to be 10 years ago. – T F
2) Some people say that video and computer games make children sociable and hyperactive. – T F
3) The levels of obesity among children and teenagers are rising. – T F
4) The vast majority of computer games are made for female game players. – T F
5) Most games require a great deal of patience and focus from the player. – T F
6) Video games are meant only for entertainment. – T F
7) It has been noticed that gamers don’t realize they are learning. – T F
2. Complete each sentence (A-H) with one of the endings (1-8): A. Video games are constantly becoming
B. The development of a computer game demands the work and skills of quite a large group of people including
C. Modern video games contain a unique synthesis of
D. Many games encourage
E. Some researchers proclaim that
F. Educational games attempt to teach players
G. Computer games can promote the development of
H. All we should do is to control
1. violent behavior, blur the difference between right and wrong and cause addiction.
2. strategic thinking and planning skills.
3. more life-like and complex.
4. 3D art, sound effects, real-life environment, people-like characters, architecture, artificial intelligence, dramatic performances, music, storytelling, and interactivity.
5. the playing, distribution, purchase, or sale of video or computer games.
6. playing computer games stunts brain growth.
7. programmers, graphic designers, sound designers, musicians, and other technicians.
8. using the game as a vehicle.
3. Give the definitions of the following words – interactivity
4. Answer the questions: 1) Why are many people fond of playing computer games?
2) What are the opportunities of computer and video games?
3) What have game developers been accused of?
4) Why can we say that the influence of computer games on children and teenagers is mostly negative?
5) What skills can computer games develop?
6) How can education benefit from computer games?
7) What is your attitude to violent and destructive games? Do you think that they must be banned?
8) What kinds of games promote more positive values?
5. Think of some advantages and disadvantages of computer and video games and fill in the table Some reasons to ban computer and video games…………..
Some reasons to play computer and video games………….
6. Read what other people think about computer and video games. Choose any quotation and comment on it – 7 think video games are a great kind of entertainment. They have replaced a lot of games people normally play with their friends and neighbours, like Monopoly.’ (Uwe Boll)
– ‘Many teachers are aware of the importance of video games to schoolchildren but are unsure of how they can be used and examined effectively in school.’ (David Giles)
– ‘Video games are bad for you? That’s what they said about rock-n-roll.’ (Shigeru Miyamoto)
– ‘It seems astounding to me now that the video games are perhaps as important as the movies themselves. And people will spend 2 or 3 years obsessing about the video game in exactly the same way that they’d be obsessing about the movie if they were working on that.’ (John Cleese)
– ‘Games are so fun, that everybody gets into them a little bit.’ (Christian Slater)
You have received a letter from a woman who is worried about her son’s behaviour. Read the letter and give her advice Hallo. My name is Carol. I’m a housewife. I have serious problems with my 11-year-old son. My husband and I have bought him a computer as a birthday gift. At first Billy didn’t pay much attention to it. But then one of his friends showed ‘Counter Strike’ to him and my son got obsessed with it. He can play for hours without a break. When I ask him to have a bite or to rest, he always refuses. When I remind him about his homework or chores, he answers that he’s just finishing the game. Sometimes it seems to me that he doesn’t hear me because he is too absorbed in his virtual adventures. When I forbid him to play, he may become very naughty and even aggressive. Many times I have noticed his vacant look and complete indifference to any other activities. Billy doesn’t care what he eats or does. He has ceased to communicate with his friends and doesn’t play outdoors. He has lost his interest in learning! I don’t know what to do and I need your help.
A. Which game would you like to play? Explain your choice using the words and word combinations in brackets. 1. | (a video puzzle game, well designed, difficult to master, to require a great deal of focus, to depend on eye coordination and quick reflexes, to create a horizontal line of blocks without gaps, to increase the speed)
2. (a horror game, to scare, horror fiction elements, death, blood, violence, to overcome obstacles, to survive all hazards on the way, to plunge into exciting adventures, to fight with monsters and staggering zombies, to solve the mystery, to find a way out, to explore the haunted mansion, to defeat supernatural enemies)
3. (a racing game, to control a man driving a car, to race against other drivers, a high-performance vehicle, to be very realistic and complex, to give the player a genuine feeling of speed, 3D effects)
4. (a real-time pet simulation video game, to play with, train, pet, walk, feed and wash a virtual dog, to keep the dogs happy, to create voice commands, to teach the dog commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘roll over’, to earn trainer points, to accumulate points)
B. Read the text ‘Video and Computer Games’ and say why video and computer games are so popular nowadays.